Answer: The stick or stake is there to help train the main trunk vertically upright and support it. If the plant is self supporting, you can remove the stake by pulling it out or breaking it off at ground level. (Check and see by undoing the ties. If you aren't sure, check with your retailer.) If you need to keep the stake in place, loosen the ties slightly periodically as the plant grows so they do not bind into the bark.
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